Sporting A Cause

Yearly Archives: 2018

Bunker-White and More


This blog will most likely be of interest only to golfers. I offer it because the story has a sort of local connection.

If any of you watched the drama at the PGA Championship tournament at Bellerive over the weekend, and you noticed how white the bunkers (sand traps) were, then this blog is for you.

You see several years ago, when Rees Jones, son of famed course designer Robert Trent Jones, redesigned the course at Bellerive Country Club, the bunker sand was replaced with a form of crushed limestone. The stone is specially processed and screened so that each particle of limestone sand has sharp edges rather than round. This allows the particles to interlock instead of sliding. What this means to the golfer, pro and duffer alike, is that a ball landing on this material will tend to rest on top of the surface instead of sinking in “fried egg” style.

A second advantage of this lime sand is that it always stays bright white- not turning dirty-looking like regular sand.

This white sand is Bunker-White, a trademarked product of Specialty Minerals, which has a large facility in Canaan, CT, and , to date, over 20 PGA courses now use it in their bunkers, including Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters.

To my knowledge, no area golf courses are yet using this product, but I’m sure they will be. After all, what golfer wouldn’t like an edge when they end up in a bunker.

To be clear, much of Bunker-White is made at Specialty Minerals’ Lucerne Valley facility, but we Canaanites can still be proud.

Hopefully by next week I can report on the successes of recently held events- attendance, funds raised, etc. But for now, here are some upcoming events with causes that may interest you.

Coming up this Friday 17th- the Torrington Lion’s Club Golf 41st Annual Golf Tournament at Green Woods Country Club. Member Norm NeJaime has organized the event for all 41 years! Proceeds benefit high school scholarships and eye research, the Lions signature cause.

There are three events on Saturday 18th. The 5K Walk/Run For the Backpack Program- this is the renamed version of the old Copake Falls Day Ridge Run 5K. It still kicks off Copake Falls Day, but it starts this year at St John’s in the Wilderness Church. Proceeds benefit the Backpack program which provides meals during the summer for deserving children. Now that’s a worthy cause!

Also Saturday- the inaugural run of the Beach to Beach 5K at Morris Town Beach at Bantam Lake. There are many races in the Litchfield/Morris/Bantam area throughout the year. This one is organized by and benefits the Bantam Lake Protective Association to, well, protect Bantam Lake.

And last but not least on Saturday is the Isaiah Lamb 2nd Annual Golf Tournament at the Canaan Country Club. Six year old Isaiah suffers from a form of Cerebral Palsy. He uses both a wheel chair and a walker to get around, but his positive attitude is an inspiration to everyone.

Proceeds from his tournament will give support to high school seniors with disabilities at both Housatonic Valley Regional and New Haven High Schools who will pursue higher education as well as helping children with disabilities throughout Connecticut- another very worthy cause.

Until next time


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Fighting ALS and More


It wasn’t looking good Saturday morning. It was raining steady, and the morning flight of the Ice Bucket Open was due to tee off at the Canaan Country Club.

What to do.

Golfers are used to playing tournaments in the rain, but nobody likes it. But play they must, at almost any cost because food for lunch and dinner has been purchased, course time has been reserved, time has been taken off from work…

But almost miraculously, after a brief delay, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and the 3rd Annual Ice Bucket Open was on its way. The tournament is named after the crazy successful fundraiser that swept the nation where people dump buckets of ice water over themselves or others to raise money for and awareness about ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It progressively robs a sufferer of his or her muscle functions, and there is no cure.

The man seated in the center of the accompanying picture is Bob Frink, and he is the inspiration for the Ice Bucket Open. Bob served as course superintendent at the Canaan Country Club for 27 years before he contracted ALS. Well known and well loved, Bob’s friends organized the Open to raise money to help. Bob decided the proceeds would go to ALS Association CT, the organization that has helped him and his family.

Saturday’s Open, despite the iffy weather, was filled to capacity- same as the previous two years- a testament to the army of friends Bob and his family have.

This October 21st there will be a Walk To Defeat ALS at the Walkway Over the Hudson on the Highland, NY side, one of hundreds around the country to raise money for the ALS Association which provides equipment, services and support to people like Bob. The goal for this year’s Walk is $250,000. Find all of the details here at

Coming Up

There are several golf tournaments and running events this weekend.

Friday the Earth Angels Fight Against Cancer Golf Tournament will tee off at the Egremont Country Club. It supports Moments House.

Saturday there’s lots going on- the Sharon (CT) Sprint Triathlon benefiting the Sharon Recreation Dept; the Sweltering Summer Ultra Marathon & 5K (Pittsfield) helping Moments House; 25 Years of Hope Fun Run/Walk (Poughkeepsie) benefiting Youth Mission Outreach and the Torrington Road Race (Torrington) which helps out the Torrington Trails Network.

Sunday- the Ancrum Fire Co. Golf Tournament benefiting themselves at Undermountain.

Lots to do. Enjoy the weekend!

Until next time


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